Anyone who has done a cleanse in the past knows that it isn’t exactly a walk in the park. In fact, sometimes I still feel a bit panicked when I hear the word “cleanse.” Let’s just say that my last three-day juice cleanse wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had. But because I am a human guinea pig, I somehow found myself on board to try yet another. This time, the Bikini Cleanse ($189).
It’s pretty straightforward. The idea is that you do the cleanse seven days before you go off on some vacation that involves bikinis (duh) or a big event. They send you everything you need in a pretty gold and white box. (Maybe it was the pretty box that made me more inclined to try it?) Inside, you’ll find seven “BikiniSmoothie” packs, seven “BikiniSticks” packs, seven “BikiniTea” packs and a “BikiniPassport” to help guide you through the process.
Each day on the diet looks like this:
You replace either breakfast or lunch with the smoothie pack mixed with ice and either water or a non-dairy milk. Then, you mix the sticks with water and drink them in between meals twice a day. Finally, you make yourself a nice hot cup of BikiniTea and drink it right before you turn in for the night. You still get to eat two meals each day, but you can only eat food from the approved list that those Bikini Cleanse folk give you. And you also have to schedule in a 45-minute workout that makes you sweat every day of the cleanse.
So now that you know “The Plan”, here’s what happened. Note: It does get a bit rough, but make sure to read through to the end to get my final thoughts and outcome.
STARTING WEIGHT: 132 pounds (shhh, don’t tell anyone…)
I started off the day with a breakfast of two eggs and a quarter of an avocado. I love eggs and avocados, which means so far, so good. I then headed out to a sweaty cycling class session. When lunchtime rolled around, I mixed a smoothie packet with some almond milk and took a sip. My first reaction was, “Ew. Why would you choose ‘Dreamy Orange and Tahitian Vanilla’ as the flavor? Why not chocolate?” I guess I’m not a huge fan of orange flavored meal replacement smoothies and I also wasn’t a fan of the texture–it was a bit too grainy for my liking. But I moved along and had my two BikiniSticks (which I also wasn’t a fan of flavor-wise) between meals and finished the day with a dinner of baked chicken and homemade tomato soup concoction with approved ingredients from the list. Before bedtime, I made myself some BikiniTea and nodded off to dreamland.
Now this is where it gets interesting. I was awoken early in the morning with intense pain in my abdomen. Think period cramps mixed with gas pressure. Terrified by the pain, I rolled out of my nice, warm bed and rushed to the bathroom. I’ll spare you the gory details and tell you that I spent the next two hours going back and forth–bedroom to bathroom, bathroom to bedroom, and so on. I was slightly terrified to leave the house that day for fear of shitting my pants and even contemplated stopping the cleanse all together.
Eventually, the need for those panicked bathroom sprints dissipated and I decided to just carry on with the cleanse. Perhaps I just like the torture? Or maybe I’m just not a quitter.
In the morning, I had a smoothie for breakfast instead and then I ate two eggs and some cooked spinach for lunch. I have to admit that I cheated here and ate a banana too, which is not on the list of approved foods. But hey, I had one hell of a morning okay? For dinner, I had the same chicken and tomato soup combo because I had leftovers. I went for a five-mile run for my workout, and diligently drank my tea before bed.
Holy hell. What is in that tea? I was awoken again with the same stomach pains and then spent the next several hours doing the toilet dash. Funny story: I had plans to carpool to a morning work event and just as my ride arrived, I felt the urge to sprint to the bathroom, and even contemplated just staying behind. But miraculously, I was able to get past it and venture out into the world.
My eating consisted of a breakfast of eggs and avocado, a BikiniStick, a lunchtime smoothie (the texture still bothers me but I’m getting used to it), a BikiniStick, a chicken salad for dinner and the now-dreaded BikiniTea before bed. I have to admit that I skipped the workout portion due to my morning being otherwise occupied.
I don’t think I need to tell you again what my morning consisted of. But now I’m really curious about this tea–is it safe to drink it daily like this? I looked at the ingredients and saw Senna Leaf was listed as one of them. Curious, I asked nutritionist Lisa De Fazio to give me the low-down.
“Detox teas containing senna leaf should be used with caution. You will get extreme diarrhea, severe stomach cramping and may become dehydrated. It can be used to relieve constipation. It is not a good idea to use it too frequently. If you decide to drink it, stay home that day and make sure you replenish your electrolytes!”
Well, now someone tells me! But at this point, I’m basically halfway through the cleanse, so I might as well just keep going.
My day today looked like this: a breakfast of eggs and avocado, a fast-paced yoga class, a BikiniStick, a smoothie, a Bikini Stick, a dinner of chicken salad and, of course, that lovely tea.
I woke up at 4:00AM to do the now expected bathroom dash, which continued through the morning. I’m feeling a bit sleep deprived at this point due to the early morning nature calls.
Today consisted of: eggs and avocado for breakfast, a BikiniStick, a smoothie, a Bikini Stick, a five-mile run, a dinner of chicken salad and that tea.
Today, something magical happened. I wasn’t woken up hours before my alarm in pain. Instead, I woke up at my usual time, but I still spent the next few hours going back and forth to the bathroom, which is becoming rather annoying at this point.
Today consisted of: eggs and avocado for breakfast (I guess I’m a creature of habit), a BikiniStick, a smoothie, a Bikini Stick, a five-mile run, a dinner of chicken and tomato soup (can’t waste food right?) and what I now fondly refer to as “shit tea”. It’s become such a source of entertainment for my roommates at this point that they even ask if I’ve had my “shit tea” each night and then ask me how my morning went the next day.
It’s the last day of the cleanse! The last day! The last day! THE LAST DAY! Today, I didn’t even mind the early morning bathroom wakeup call because…haven’t you heard? It’s the last day!
I had a smoothie for breakfast before going to another cycling class. Then for the rest of the day, I had a BikiniStick, a chicken salad, a BikiniStick, finished up the last of the tomato soup for dinner and drank my last tea. I went to bed confident that the number on the scale tomorrow will make it all worth it.
END WEIGHT: 125 pounds (!!!!!!!)
I lost a grand total of seven pounds on this cleanse and I have to say I felt really good at the end of it. It’s just a shame I didn’t have a bikini-required destination to go to, but the next time I do, I may just do another one of these. Isn’t it amazing how a number on a scale can make you forget days of torture?
I have to admit that I missed the once-dreaded smoothie after it was all over. I even went to a health store to find some sort of meal replacement smoothie, but I still haven’t found one I like as much. I never grew fond of those BikiniSticks though, so I definitely don’t miss those.
As for that tea, it seems that my body became accustomed to the extra help because I didn’t need to go for the next two days, which was kind of distressing. But I’m happy to report that I got back on my old schedule after that.
Now, would I recommend this cleanse? Yes and no. Yes, if you’re looking for quick weight loss or if you’re one of those people that likes to kickstart diets with an extreme measure. No, if you don’t like feeling dependent on a toilet for a few hours every morning. In the BikiniPassport, it says to cancel all of your work and social appointments scheduled around food, but I think it should also recommend that you block out a few hours every morning to spend with your toilet. (By the way, my toilet and I are very close friends now after this experience.) That warning would have been greatly appreciated, but I guess it should be assumed that a quick cleanse might involve toilet time if you want results.
IMAGE: @BIKINICLEANSE Instagram